We can go through seasons in our lives when there’s an abundance of lemons. By this, I mean that sometimes life serves up lots of bitter stuff, such as: a bad medical diagnosis, poor results on a test in school, an unexpected bill when the money isn’t there, emotional struggles, extra responsibilities in an overcrowded life, relationship catastrophes, etc.
So how do we make lemonade from the bitter experiences that can happen in life? Here are a few suggestions:
Prayer: take whatever is bitter & bring it to Jesus for divine input
Choose to trust: after prayer, make the consistent decisions to trust Jesus to bring good from bad, order from chaos, blessing from curse
Gratitude: even though we don’t like hardships, struggles & lemons, James 1:2-4 says that such difficulties can work into a blessing & become lemonade. So maybe gratitude is some sugar to sweeten the lemons
Here’s to letting God turn lemons into lemonade in our lives!
What areas in your life are needy? It seems that often the quick answer is “money.” But if we pause for a second, our answer might be more along the line of more time, wisdom, discipline, strength, better relationships, genuine love, courage, patience, etc.
This morning I read how Jesus multiplied the fish & bread to meet the hunger needs of thousands of people. His disciples came to Him with the need – too many people & a paltry amount of provision. To this problem, Jesus asked them what they had. After identifying what was there, Jesus blessed the provision rather than cursed the need or lack.
Let’s be sure that we’re grateful for what we have, even if it seems like it’s not enough. Then let’s utilize what we have with thanksgiving & our eyes on Jesus to keep providing & multiplying!
All of us want treats and blessings – take the good and leave the bad! I read this morning about how Jacob dressed up in his brother’s clothes to pretend that he was Esau, attempting to trick his dad into believing that he was Esau. With his mom’s help, Jacob’s efforts worked and he received his father’s blessings through being tricksy.
I used to wonder about why God would “reward” this kind of deceptive behavior – seems really unfair and inconsistent with God being just. After some long reflection & consideration, I’ve come up with a few thoughts that might be helpful:
Jacob’s deception was really quite expensive: he was ostracized from his family & came to live with an extremely manipulative & deceptive uncle for close to two decades; it also appears that he never attained the closeness he once had with his family & particularly with his mom
by Jacob receiving his dad’s blessing, we clearly see that God blesses us not because we’re worthy, we’ve earned it or because of our “birth right”, but simply because God loves us inspite of ourselves rather than because of ourselves
God redeems our “tricks” and transforms them into “treats” 🙂
Last night I had some friends over for dinner & I really enjoyed making a nice dinner for everyone (I even tried some new recipes that weren’t too bad). As I sat & enjoyed the fellowship, my family & food, one of the things that I enjoyed the most was that our meal couldn’t be repaid.
This is my same experience with saving Moses – I get to give to babies & toddlers with a pure heart & no strings attached. It brings me great joy & happiness when I get to freely give & bless others. Somewhere it says that it’s more blessed to give than receive ,)
We could probably all do a bit of extra cleaning in this season, especially with all of the kids’ school stuff that’s presently occupying far too much counter space 🙂
Here’s another idea for some Spring Cleaning that I’ve been thinking about lately: perhaps we could all do some “soul cleaning” with some fresh work on the forgiveness front. Here’s what got me thinking about this – yesterday, I ran across a person with whom I had a very unpleasant exchange in January & I found myself being very frosty with this person, noticeably LESS friendly with them than anyone else. This was a nice wake up call that I probably need to freshen up my forgiveness maintenance. Maybe you’re not like me, but I find that I’m really keen to make the forgiveness decision, but sometimes I neglect the followup maintenance that forgiveness can require. When I make the forgiveness decision, for me this means that I chose to not “punish” the person for our altercation by being unpleasant in any future exchanges. Furthermore, when I forgive a person, I make the decision not to discuss their failure with anyone else (outside of a normal healthy disclosure). Additionally, when I chose to forgive, I find it helpful to bless person & to “let go” of the offense – not remind them of their failure by bringing up the past. Like I said on my fb post, forgiveness is a decision that can require ongoing maintenance ,)
I’m all about shortcuts – if i can figure out a way to do something faster & easier, i’m a happy camper! sometimes i even find myself taking silly risks just to see if a shortcut can work. Invariably, my shortcuts don’t usually work & you think i’d have learned that lesson by now. Maybe i’m a slow learner. Maybe i’m a little bit like Esau who traded his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of lentils, just because he was hungry. He exchanged an established position of blessing, prosperity, security & leadership for some food to eat & only to be hungry again in a few hours.
Honestly, i think our society is alot like Esau at present. We try to take lots of shortcuts, make quickie fix-its, take a panacea pill, do a fast fix to “make life better.” The truth is, life occurs over the space of about 70-75 years & if we’re kingdom minded, we must look at our lives in a generational mindset w continuity & the purpose of growing the next generation to be stronger in God than we ever will be. There are no shortcuts to integrity, to lasting fulfillment, intimacy w God, stepping into eternity on sure footing and more.
Let’s not get seduced by a bowl of lentils, a temporary pleasure & miss the long-term blessing.